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Two Fatalities in Building Collapse of Omaha-based Animal Feed Plant

Jan 25, 2014  | Ep3922

Federal safety investigators are determining whether structural problems and a dust explosion contributed to an industrial building collapse in Omaha this week that killed two workers and injured 17 others.

Inspectors with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, are working with structural engineers and combustible dust experts as part of their investigation into Monday's accident at the International Nutrition building. The plant makes nutritional products that are added to livestock and poultry feed.

Some witnesses reported hearing an explosion before the building's top two floors collapsed into the first floor. But others have suggested that the sound and fire, which burned some workers, resulted **from** the collapse.

Nate Lewis/Production Line Worker – International Nutrition, Inc.: "It was crazy. Yeah, I just turned on my phone, I just turned on my phone, to see where I could get any visibility because it was like pitch black in there. All I saw was like the fire, I just thought the building was on fire and everything so I just tried to get to another exit."

An OSHA spokesperson says it likely will be weeks before investigators know the exact cause of the accident.

Bernie Kanger – Interim Chief/Omaha Fire and Rescue Department: "The chance of finding any vicitims that are alive is no longer there."

Unfortunately, Monday's deaths were not the first workplace fatality to occur at the plant.

OSHA records show International Nutrition was assessed more than $13,000 in penalties for a 2002 accident that killed a 45-year-old worker. The employee perished after falling into a moving mixer that he was cleaning.

 

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